I’m on my way now. Like the storm clouds that enter ominously in from western Kansas in the hot afternoons of August, the future looms with a similar aura of danger and mystery. The thing about storm clouds, though, is that there is a sort of majesty as well as mystery about them if I choose to look at them through the lens of my faith, my strength.
If I face them without fear, standing, waiting, and watching as the spectacular, powerful arctic rush of the wind that precedes them cools skin hot from a long summer, it becomes a future I can look forward to. If I’m lucky, they will try to knock me over, blast after blast, as I watch the approaching darkness rush over me, the pitch black of the clouds shaking with thunderclaps and lightning streaking side to side through the barely visible openings between them. It’s fun, dare I offer, to face the fear head on.
I’m on my way now more conscious of the fact that I’m not alone. I’m allowing my friend to be a friend again and the danger lying ahead, whatever it may be, looks less imposing. This is not an end to my journey. Far from it. I don’t have all the answers and how many I have I’m not really sure. But a veil has lifted, lifted again I should say.
After all these months, first acknowledging the fact that evil is set against me, and secondly, my right to the abundant life J has not only offered to me but fights for me to have, has helped me to better understand the war I’m in the middle of. An active evil has been fighting me all along under the guise of hopelessness and the heaviness of denial and apathy. Not that I haven’t made a lot of mistakes along the way, I have, but realizing my place in the Story and, to a better extent, the other characters in it, helps me to understand a little better what’s going on.
Recognizing the Apathy monster for what it is and shrugging it off hasn’t proven to be easy. But the journey through the wilderness has given me a great deal of perspective on the story I find myself in. Faith and the war that comes with it. It won’t end until the Author (J) steps onto the stage, bringing with him the end to all the pain and struggles we often call real life.
Meanwhile, the journey continues on and the lessons I’ve learned will walk with me into the next scene that I find myself in and the ones after that. The journey continues with all the mystery, danger, excitement, and yes, the anticipation that comes with living in an adventure story. In the midst of the darkest hour, the moment in the story when it seems all is lost, a path to victory has been found and the enemy, while still powerful, and as of yet not defeated, sees the tide is turning, and knowing the time is short, will lash out with all the anger and intimidation it can muster. What lies ahead is the march forward toward the distant kingdom, which all the while, approaches the heroes.
Until that day, as Lewis once said, “the cross comes before the crown.” The happy ending, while inevitable, is a way off yet, perhaps a long way off. The good news is that this life is a journey and that means it’s either a path to be tread with heads down or an adventure to be embraced with expectant heads held high.